TGIFF – Sparkleworks

Back in March 2013, our friend Lee of Freshly Pieced announced a quilt along she was about to start. It was called Bloom Bloom Pow in reference to those crazy Black Eyed Peas featuring Will.I.Can’t. This was my first exposure to a quilt along (how much has changed in a year!?) and I decided to jump right in. I grabbed some of my Aussie faves (Quiet Play, Ms. Midge, Mishi Kichi) and we decided to have a good hard go at it, supporting each other every step of the way. Quiet Play and Ms. Midge already debuted their fabulous creations, and here I sit, finally able to show you mine!
This is Sparkleworks, my take on the Bloom Bloom Pow quilt along. It started with a batik rainbow fat quarter bundle that patron saint, Grandma Sparkles sent me. When I saw it, it reminded me of glistening fireworks, so I used that as the inspiration for this piece. If you would like to see some progress shots, check this post out: An Artist Again. I’m here to tell you, don’t be afraid of all batiks! Of course, be wary of the Hawaiian shirt variety, but there are others with deeply-saturated colours and non-traditional, geometric patterns that are divine!

While most of the participants (and the original quilt along instructions) suggested using a white background, y’all know I could never follow the crowd. I had to do my own thang! So I gathered some black patterned batiks, and created a scrappy collage of black for the background. I hoped this would emulate the subtleties of a black sky strewn with smoke and lingering embers.

You can see here the most amazing quilting by Jane Davidson (Quilt Jane) of Want it, Need it, Quilt! I chose this quilt design she had because I thought it would reinforce the snap! crackle! pop! of it all. It’s also quilted in a variegated rainbow thread to provide an extra layer of shimmering colour against the collage of black.

Of course I had to add my Glitter Flecked Binding, which is hand stitched down. I just can’t get fully on board with machine stitched binding on large quilts. 
I gave each of the blooms extra dimension by using fabric with a lighter value at the forefront, and a darker value on the receding angled pieces. This contrast in fabrics, and the subtle colour shifts in batiks give depth to what otherwise might have been quite a flat quilt. Our friend Anne from Play Crafts is giving a lesson on contrast over at She Can Quilt that you will definitely find beneficial to your quilting process!

But wait! Where’re the pictures of the back?! Settle, petal! I designed the back of this quilt to be as interesting as the front, so, like me, it is truly reversible. (Won’t you back that ass up! LR!) I’ll bring you pictures of that scrappy, artistic explosion next Friday!
This is the quilt I’m currently using on the couch (even though it is summer in Australia), because I can’t help but love being wrapped in all that colour. You might have seen brilliant fireworks on New Year’s Day, but I get to see Sparkleworks year round!
Some quick quilt facts:

Title: Sparkleworks
Size: 57″ x 80″
Quilt Design: Bloom Bloom Pow by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced
Quilting: King Tut Superior Threads, variegated rainbow
by Jane Davidson (Quilt Jane) of Want it, Need it, Quilt!
Binding: hand stitched with Aurifil 28 weight
Backing: Check it out next week!
Label: Check it out next week!
Favourite Part: Today? The saturated colours.
Linking up with TGIFF and Crazy Mom Quilts!

A special thank you to Freshly Pieced for such an inspirational quilt along!

39 Responses

  1. Worth the wait. It's fabulously sparkly. I love it too. x

  2. It's gorgeous – I love it!

  3. Woohoo!! Well done on a fabulous finish!

  4. Leanne says:

    It's a fun quilt, I bet it is even better in person. And thank you for the shout out too.

  5. Kara says:

    The contrast makes the quilt! I am still not sold on batiks-hawaiian shirt, or otherwise! 🙂

  6. Kara says:

    That sounded not nice. Artistically it's perfect.

  7. Rita Ferber says:

    It's so pretty! Well done!

  8. Pam says:

    I absolutely love this quilt! I would have chosen a dark background also! Beautiful quilting!

  9. Fran says:

    Love the colourful quilting!

  10. I'm not a great fan of batiks, but your quilt really does sparkle! Love the quilting too

  11. Vera says:

    Congrats on your first finish! Love the quilting and your idea behind it.

  12. charlotte says:

    Beautiful. Can't wait to see the back.

  13. Kerstin says:

    Absolutely fitting name for this stunner!

  14. audrey says:

    Ooh, this is divine. And I absolutely love the quilting!

  15. Sheryl says:

    The colour placement really has the blooms sparkling there. Love it!

  16. I love it! The dark background really make the colours pop.
    Barb@Witsend

  17. LOL! It's beautiful, Josh! Love the pop of colours against the black background!

  18. Katy Cameron says:

    Ahh, nothing worse than getting exposure early in the year… ;o) It turned out great though, glad you finally got to the end!

  19. maria says:

    I used to use batiks and liked them until I started reading that "trendy" quilters didn't like them so I stopped using them too. Talk about following the crowd.
    Your quilt is fabulous, I was really pleased when I saw you'd used batiks.

  20. Tiffany says:

    I love it! This quilt has been on my bucket list for awhile – maybe it's about time it moves up to the top! ;). I think yours looks awesome with the black background.

  21. Fabulous quilt! I love the bright colors!!

  22. I love the fact that your blog writing reads like someone who has lost the plot in such a good way.
    I like that.
    I like your quilt too.

  23. Quilting Dee says:

    Love your quilt, love the colour choices and placement……. Fabulous Sparkles, Molli

  24. Kat says:

    Really love the quilting pattern!

  25. that is such a cool design!

  26. Beautiful! And congrats for coming to the defense of much maligned batik fabric. There is a time and place for even batiks!

  27. What I just love, apart from the use of black ( my personal fav) is when you look at it closely you realise that it's awesome play on triangles that make this a stunning finished work of ART , fireworks for real. Have a few hademade Batik pieces of my own and working on dye effects for a few more, could see how they would work well like this. Again thank you for sharing.

  28. That is a spectacular finish!

  29. I must admit, you did well despite the fabric 😉 xx

  30. You know I LOVE this, right?!?

  31. Tsoniki says:

    Stunning quilt! I love the fabrics.

  32. Kristin says:

    Your Sparkleworks is stunning! Congratulations on a beautiful finish!

  33. Laura says:

    Looks appropriately sparkly… we're going to have to get you doing your own quilting in 2014 I think! thanks for linking up!

  34. Maryanne Condie says:

    Dear Molli, I would like to order the sparkle works quilt pattern, how do I go about getting it. Thank you. Maryanne Condie

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